With Missouri’s rescheduled municipal elections less than two weeks away, Cole County’s voting machines were put through their paces in a test run Thursday.
As part of the testing, which is monitored by representatives of the local Democrat and Republican parties, the ballots are put into the machines backward and upside down to make sure the machines accurately read them. No problems were detected.
The municipal election, originally scheduled for April 7, was postponed to June 2 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer believes voter turnout June 2 will be among the lowest the county has ever seen due to concerns about the pandemic.
“I’m guessing we’d be lucky to get 5 or 6 percent turnout,” Korsmeyer said.
Cole County voters will not be required to wear masks to vote but can if they want to, Korsmeyer said. Tables will be positioned at the polling places so voters will be able to maintain 6 feet of physical distance, as recommended by the Cole County Health Department.
“If people want to bring their own blue or black ink pen to the poll, that’s fine, and they don’t have to use ours,” Korsmeyer said. “We’ll have disinfectant there so when people sign the poll pad they can use that before and after.
“I don’t think there should be any issues for people that do want to come to the polls and vote.”
Absentee voting continues in the clerk’s office, located on the second floor of the Cole County Courthouse Annex, 311 E. High St. in Jefferson City. The office will also be open for absentee voting from 8 a.m.-noon May 30. The deadline to cast an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. June 1.
As of Thursday, 42 people had cast absentee ballots in the clerk’s office.
Wednesday was the last day to mail out absentee ballots, and 519 were issued. As of Thursday, 399 had been returned to the clerk’s office.
Primary issues before Cole County voters in the June 2 election, as they apply in various municipalities, include:
Jefferson City councilman for Ward 2, a race between candidates Aaron Mealy, Mike Lester and Gregory A. Butler.
Four proposed changes to the Jefferson City charter.
Three seats on the Blair Oaks R-2 School District Board of Education, a race between candidates Douglas Moeller, Nicki E. Russell, Jason A. Paulsmeyer and Tina Lear.
Three three-year terms on the Cole R-1 (Russellville) School District Board of Education, a race between candidates Rodney Edwards, Adam Weber, Aaron Wyss, Elaine Buschjost, Renee Bungart and Ritchie Jenkins; and one one-year term on the Russellville school board, a race between candidates Jenifer Seaver and Jesse Farris.
Three seats on the Cole R-5 (Eugene) School District Board of Education, a race between candidates Spencer K. Hoskins, Eliza Bond Hinkle, Derek Sommerer and Matt Hale.
The Cole R-5 (Eugene) School District’s Proposition C Sales Tax Rollback.
Two Lohman alderman positions, a race between candidates Franklin Chapman, Regina Hoffman, Scott Soell and David Viles.